HC Deb 23 November 1955 vol 546 cc1433-4
4. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he is aware of the growing and dangerous practice of affixing holiday pennants to the front and rear windows of motor cars; whether he is satisfied that Section 75 of the Construction and Use Regulations is so drafted as to make this practice illegal by reason of such pennants obstructing the view of the driver; and whether he will introduce fresh regulations to bar the practice specifically.

11. Sir F. Medlicott

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he will now introduce fresh regulations which will definitely prohibit the affixing of holiday pennants to the windows of motor vehicles.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I cannot at present add to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Wimbledon (Mr. Black) on 2nd November.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Has not my right hon. Friend during the holiday season seen these cars with their front and rear windows plastered with pennants so that the drivers cannot see? Do the police know what powers they have under the law to deal with this matter, and does my right hon. Friend think the law is really strong enough to curb this manifestation of the souvenir spirit?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

There are powers under existing regulations to deal with the case when the windscreen is seriously obscured. The difficulty about strengthening the law—and I agree that consideration needs to be given to that—is that one has to take care of a number of perfectly legitimate things which are sometimes put on the windscreens of cars, including, of course, the badge of the House of Commons Motoring Club.

Sir F. Medlicott

Is it not clear that people who place this kind of obstruction in front of their vision at the risk of their own lives and the lives of other people are so foolish that they ought not to be on the roads at all? Will not my right hon. Friend on this occasion show a little righteous anger and take some prompt action?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I agree with my hon. Friend that it is an extraordinarily foolish thing seriously to obscure one's vision in a car by adding these things to the windows. As I have said, the present law can certainly take care of the grosser cases. What I am concerned to do is to make sure that any strengthening of the law is sensible and does not cause any of the anomalies at which I hinted in my answer.

Mr. G. R. Strauss

Does the Minister not think that the obscuring of the rear window may be even more important and dangerous than the obscuring of the front window, and will he consider—before the Road Traffic Bill is disposed of in Committee upstairs—the possibility of drafting a Clause which might possibly deal with this very serious danger?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I will certainly consider that. This is a matter which has, so far, been dealt with by regulation, but I have an open mind as to the best method of dealing with it.